Barriers of racism and sexism slowed them down, but academia wasn't their only venue.
At the start of World War I, young working-class women swooned for men in uniform, leading middle-class women to form patrols to police public morals.
She started off as a "stunt" journalist and moved into covering stories about women and crime in the Roaring Twenties.
Fears that teachers were indoctrinating kids were rampant in the 1950s. But the reality was more complicated.
Black women shopped at department store counters, but they weren't welcome to work where they spent their money.
After the Civil War, some elite women became obsessed with collecting antique china, the better to connect themselves to illustrious histories.